About the Australian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program

The Australian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program is an Australian Government program that provides ongoing support to Australian thalidomide survivors.

About the program

The Australian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program is a lifetime support package for Australian thalidomide survivors that:

  • acknowledges the pain and suffering of survivors
  • helps with out of pocket health care costs and also daily living costs.

This support will improve survivors’ quality of life and help meet their specialised needs.

We developed the program in response to the Senate Inquiry into Support for Australia’s thalidomide survivors. Read the Government response to the inquiry.

Under the program, survivors may be eligible to:

  • receive a lump sum payment and ongoing annual payments
  • access an Extraordinary Assistance Fund (EAF)
  • access a Health Care Assistance Fund (HCAF).

Learn more about how the program will provide support.

Why the program is important

Australians impacted by the maternal use of thalidomide have suffered because of circumstances beyond their control. Thalidomide has resulted in a lifetime of pain and hardship.

While it cannot ever make up for the hardship and suffering, the program will provide ongoing support and recognition for survivors.

Who is eligible to access support from the program


To be eligible to access support from the program you must be registered in the program as an Australian thalidomide survivor.

Registered thalidomide survivors are people who were recognised through either the:

  • 2010 Diageo ex gratia scheme
  • class action approved by the Victorian Supreme Court in 2014

Or those who successfully participated in the program’s eligibility assessment process.

  • An eligibility assessment process was undertaken to identify previously unrecognised Australian thalidomide survivors. This process was open for applications from 1 November 2020 to 1 May 2022 and has now closed.


Thalidomide Support Service contact

Contact us for general enquiries about the Australian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program or for information about making a claim to the Extraordinary Assistance Fund (EAF) or the Health Care Assistance Fund (HCAF).
Date last updated:

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